Sometimes you can't wait until Autumn to eat some pumpkin, especially when it is decadent cheesecake! It is incredibly easy to make and tastes like a dream. Don't forget the Maple Glaze!
1 1/4 cups ginger snap crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, room temp.
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups canned pumpkin (16 oz total)
1 cup pure maple syrup (the delicious REAL maple syrup!)
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
Heavy whipping cream
Here's how you do it:
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Chuck a bunch of the ginger snaps into a food processor and obliterate those cookies to crumbs. Or place ginger snaps into bags and have your kids pound them to bits. They'll have more on the floor than in the bag, of course, so maybe you need two boxes of cookies if you go this route. Measure out 1 1/4 cups of crumbs and add them to a bowl. Add butter and sugar and mix together. Firmly press crust mixture into a springform pan (mine is about 9"). Set aside. Beat cream cheese for about 4 minutes or until smooth and fluffy. Slowly add condensed milk and beat until smooth. Add pumpkin, eggs, 1/4 cup maple syrup (the good stuff), cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Mix until thoroughly combined. It smells yummy now, but no licking! Pour over crust. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. The edge will spring back when you touch it and the center is soft. Cool and then chill, preferably overnight if you can wait that long. Let's make the Maple Glaze. Combine remaining 3/4 cup maple syrup with 1/2 pint heavy whipping cream in a pan. Bring to a boil. Boil for 15-20 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally with a whisk. Add chopped pecans, if desired. Pour a bit o' glaze over your cheesecake, and enjoy!